CELEBRATION OF LOVE

When I think about the Resurrection story of Jesus, so many things race through my mind – joy, warmth, second chances, reconciled relationships, relief, new beginnings, cared for, the list goes on and on. About 2-3 weeks ago I was sitting in my family room one evening watching tv and for no apparent reason I started thinking about Calvary. I thought about Jesus and all that He had endured. I thought about what Calvary meant, to Jesus, to me, to the church body. As I pondered on all this I began to have a conversation with the Lord that went something like,

“Jesus, why? I mean I know why Calvary was necessary and I’m so grateful that you went there for me and others, but I do not understand why You picked that way to reconcile me to the Father. Of all the ways You could have reconciled me to my Father God, You picked a brutal, traumatizing, and painful path. Why?”

I paused to hear what the Lord would share with me as His response. Hearing nothing, I kept traveling on my inquiry path.

“Jesus, one of the reasons it does not add up in my mind is the fact that after You went through that for me, I still veer off course now and then. I still have times when I disobey Your Word and do my own thing. And because You are God who is all-knowing, I know that you knew back then that this is what I would do; yet you STILL allowed them, us, me, to take you through all that human pain and unfair treatment that caused You to end up at Calvary. I know what the bible says Jesus. I know what the Christians say. But I cannot stop wrestling with this question, why Lord? Why that way?”

You may have thought about this question if you are a believer in Christ, or even if you are not. You, like me, may have heard the true and powerful response to that question out of John chapter 3 verses 16 and 17,

16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.  [NLT]

At the time that Jesus spoke these words, He was ministering to Nicodemus, one of the teachers of the law, who we would call today, a spiritual leader. He had a hunger to understand Jesus’ relation to God the Father and what being ‘born again’ meant. God started with this passage as He responded to my ‘why’ question. I picked my phone up, turned to the passage and read it over a few times. Tears began to fill in my eyes as I thought of the love of God the Father; giving all He had for me. But the question would not leave my mind – ‘why Jesus; why this way?’ Before I could ask it out loud God led me to another passage that He had the apostle Paul write centuries ago,

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  Phil.2:5-7[ESV]

As I read it, God helped me to understand that Jesus choose to “empty” Himself for me and to become like me – human, but without sin. Jesus chose to die for you. It is so important for us to remember this because when we do, we realize that He wants a relationship with us. He has never been forced to have a relationship with you, he chooses to. Calvary was never forced on Jesus, He chose to go there. Never forget that. When the devil tells you that God could care less about you, grab your bible, open it to Philippians chapter 2 and read out loud verses 5 through 7. Then go back and read verse 7 out loud at least three more times, or until it sinks into your soul that you, my dear, were chosen.

But what does that have to do with Jesus loving me?  Keep walking with me. The next two passages of scripture God took me to (are you loving how God answers us by taking us into His Word?!) answered that question. The first was,

17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”   Jn.10:17-18 [NKJV]

Jesus offered to lay His life down for you and I. Yes, it is true that the religious leaders delivered Him to Pontius Pilate to be killed, but the only reason they were able to do that is because Jesus allowed them to. When Jesus was in garden of Gethsemane with His disciples and the religious leaders came to arrest Him, those who came for Him fell down when Jesus identified Himself to them (Jn.18:6). He never touched them, but the power and anointing that was both in Him and around Him was more powerful than those soldiers. It was also during that same encounter that Jesus told His disciples that they did not need to fight on His behalf because all He had to do was call out to His Father (God) and He would send twelve legions of angels to fight for Him (Mt.26:53). A legion of angels equals at least 6,000 angels. Jesus had all the help He needed to resist His captors and not die. Yet He lay down his life anyway. When a person freely gives his all, including His life, it has to be because he loves the person he is willing to die for. What else can explain such an action? The only way God could have sent Jesus, and the only way Jesus could have responded, was that they flowed out of a place, out of a character, out of a personhood called LOVE.

10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.  1 Jn.4:10 [NLT]

As I read all these passages of scripture I began to see more clearly why Jesus chose Calvary; He loved me. He did it out of love. As the realization hit me I felt such an overwhelming sense of love from Christ for me. I love that He is not just my Kinsman. Christ is not just related to me. No, He is more than that. Jesus is our Keeper, but not just any Keeper. He is the Keeper who has, kept us by the only way possible, by emptying His life. That is love in the most pure form. For many people, this weekend is about celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus – and it is. But, for me it is more than just that, it is a celebration of God’s love for me.

“Jesus, thank you for being more than just the Kinsman in my life. Thank you for being my Keeper, the only keeper who loved me enough to die for me and to resurrect again. I love you my Kinsman & Keeper. I love you. I celebrate You today”

4 thoughts on “CELEBRATION OF LOVE”

  1. I too struggle with why Jesus loves me and humanity so much. His love I don’t understand. With my finite thinking, it’s hard for me to comprehend such love. Thank you for explaining it so well.

    1. Hi Carla, thanks for visiting my blog again. God’s love is so wonderful and so unexplainable in our human words. There’s no lover like Him.

  2. What love!!!! I always think I know how to love but am yet to grasp the depth of this love. Thankyou for sharing this especially this season.

    1. Hi Sal! Don’t look now, but if you look over your right shoulder you’ll see me on the same boat; God continues to teach me what love really looks like from His view. What an amazing view it is!

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